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Monday, October 10, 2016

Planning a 50th Anniversary Party on a Budget

Let me just start out by saying that if you are a full time professional party planner it’s not uncommon to singlehandedly plan and execute a budget themed party occurring four states away.

However, I am not a full time professional party planner. I am a part time interior designer, full time college student, wife, mother, dog walker, chief cook and bottle washer. But I was able to execute this celebration to the great happiness of my client and her family and they have graciously allowed me to share the event.

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The party was a 50th anniversary celebration for her parents and 100 of their closest friends and family.  For inspiration I asked the golden bride to send me some images of the 1966 wedding for inspiration.

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It was a happy bit of luck that the bride and groom’s original wedding colors were turquoise and golden yellow given that the traditional theme of a 50th celebration is a “golden anniversary”. The golden bride still adores turquoise so our color palette was selected.

I sent a few inspirational photos to the client and her mother to get an idea of what style of party was desired.

Carolyn likes this one.: So glam! Love these turquoise chairs and #gold accessories all over the table…:

Based on likes and dislikes for centerpieces I gathered various flowers such as blue hydrangeas, golden sunflowers, white astromeria and purple status to create four different floral arrangements for the clients to choose from.


Those who follow me on Instagram know that this centerpiece was selected as the winner. 

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I then offered a variety of complete centerpiece looks based on this image that was also well liked.

Can't have real candles in our venue but I LOVE this. Maybe baby's breath in one…:

The favorite look was the centerpiece on a wood slice, complete with a gold framed wedding photo and a votive candle.

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Then there were discussions about the tablecloth itself.

Plain white linen.

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With a burlap runner.

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My favorite look was a vintage sheet of golden roses.

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In the end, based on the client budget for eight round tables, we eliminated the pricey wood rounds and went with an aqua table covering from the party store. Actual candles were not allowed at the rented facility so LED candles were used.

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In the above photo you can faintly see the rock fireplace in the background. I created a wedding banner for decoration as this was to be the backdrop for group photos.

Here are close ups of each section of the banner.

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For low cost parties paper and pictures are your friend in helping to set a theme and mood. Enlarging and printing out wedding photos is a inexpensive way to decorate walls and entries for an anniversary celebration.

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We also talked pro’s and cons regarding sweet stations and party favors. Again, inspirational images were collected and viewed.

Egyptian Party : Candy buffet in lots of gold and blue candy : inspiration idea:

5 Formal Wedding Must Haves:

Teal and gold wedding favors!!:

The golden bride wanted mints and butterscotch candies as it is a favorite of her father and the groom.

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Making party favors is always best done ahead as they can take quite a bit of time.

The treats were lovingly created in my kitchen then carefully boxed up with layers of bubble wrap and tissue then mailed to Minnesota where the party was held.

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We had a separate seating area for the children. The eight tables each had a mini floral arrangement, votive and a bowl of crayons. Coloring pages were created from the original  wedding photos.

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The placemats were a big hit with the kids!


Everyone attending had a grand time.

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A light luncheon was served. Simple white paper plates and napkin wrapped cutlery tied with a turquoise bow was the perfect and frugal choice for such a large crowd.

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Lunch was followed by the cutting of the anniversary cake. The golden groom wanted chocolate and it was delicious!


The gathering turned out exactly how the happy couple had envisioned their special day.

Members of the original wedding party and special guests each went home with a floral centerpiece.

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Golden dreams,



Rosanne said...

Looks like it was a lovely party Laura! So glad you were able to share.

CarolynB said...

The party was everyone we envisioned. It was a wonderful day! Thank you so much for sharing your time and talent for our party. We are eternally grateful. -- the Bride.

CarolynB said...

Whoops - I meant the party was everything we envisioned ...

Pinky at Designs by Pinky said...

What a wonderful party, you did a fabulous job! We will be celebrating our 50th next year and hope to have a party at our clubhouse with friends and family! Lots of great ideas here!!! Thanks, Laura!

Susan Freeman said...

This was a lot of work, but you did a great job! I admire you and don't know how you accomplish all you do, but you do and you do it so well.

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Lisa said...

Bravo Laura!!! I know how labor intensive party planning is and you did a marvelous job! I know the happy couple was thrilled!

Christine said...

It's fun to see how you come up with the design, colors and themes.
It turned out great!!
What a fun celebration for the couple, along with family and friends.

Vel Criste said...

You did an amazing job! Other than the fact that the details were all beautiful and well thought-of, but I can't imagine this to be on a budget! Congrats to the lovely couple and congrats to the party planner!

Laura said...

You did a wonderful job Laura!

Jeanie said...

Wow, Laura. I'm impressed! And I love the ideas. These days keeping it simple makes so much more sense to me than it ever did before -- and keeping it economical. You did both and yet managed to bring off a beauty, casual elegance and style that says so very much more. I would have been thrilled to have this as my celebration design. Bravo to you.

Fox and Finch Antiques said...

Really brilliant, Laura. I thought the coloring page from the couple's wedding photograph was so fun, as where the mints and butterscotch gifts. You did a fabulous job for this couple. Laura, I have your one-earlier-post on my desktop and have looked at it three times, studying everything. I am in awe of your family history.